logo
menu

Aquapak unveils new packaging that biodegrades in AD process

Aquapak Polymers has developed a process to produce a multifunctional packaging polymer that is both 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable in standard waste management facilities, it has announced.

Currently at demonstration phase and with a full-scale production factory on the way, Aquapak is now in talks with retailers, local authorities and the waste sector to explore the material’s potential as a sustainable alternative to conventional and bioplastic films.

The patented process from Aquapak Polymers means that its PVOH polymer can be easily recovered from materials sorting facilities. When treated in water, the polymer dissolves and can then be recovered from solution and repelletised, ready to be returned to manufacturers in a closed loop system.

“We are currently in talks with a number of key market sectors. It’s an exciting time for Aquapak as we demonstrate to manufacturers and brand owners that they can now have a strong monolayer plastic that performs well, looks great, and is environmentally sustainable.”

The development bypasses the difficulties of separating film from rigid plastic, and could replace multilayer packaging on a wide range of consumer products.

Mike Everard, Managing Director of Aquapak Polymers Ltd. said: “The polymer process developed by Aquapak is attracting a great deal of interest from the packaging, retail and waste sectors. As a packaging material it outperforms both cornstarch and many conventional plastics, while also overcoming the usual barriers to recovery and recycling.”

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation report, The new plastics economy: Rethinking the future of plastics identified the urgent need for large-scale “moon shot” innovations, such as bio-benign materials designed to facilitate multilayer reprocessing, and ‘superpolymers’ with the functionality of today’s polymers and with superior recyclability.

Initial tests indicate that Aquapak’s PVOH polymer is benign in the environment and non-toxic to marine life, so if recovery for recycling is not required the dissolved polymer can be washed away safely with wastewater. Being FDA-approved it is suitable for packaging food products, overcoming a major hurdle for the market penetration of recycled plastics.

Detailed assessments with a number of key waste management operators have shown that the polymer degrades quickly in anaerobic digestion (AD), meaning depackaging is not a pre-requisite to digestion. Its rapid degradability in the AD process means it could have significant implications for household food waste collections as well as the food manufacturing and packaging sectors.

Mike Everard said: “We are currently in talks with a number of key market sectors. It’s an exciting time for Aquapak as we demonstrate to manufacturers and brand owners that they can now have a strong monolayer plastic that performs well, looks great, and is environmentally sustainable.”

A new 50,000 sq ft Aquapak Polymers factory is currently under construction in Birmingham where it will provide 70 jobs.





216 queries in 0.505 seconds.